Practice report: Looking ahead to Dixie State

Increased focus for Wednesday's exhibition against Dixie State

With Saturday’s scrimmage against UCLA in the rearview mirror, the Rebels are now focused on Wednesday’s exhibition game against Dixie State. It’s the only exhibition game on the slate for UNLV this year, so coach Dave Rice and his players are taking the contest very seriously.

There was no official score kept for the UCLA scrimmage, and Rice said it was more of a learning experience. Monday’s practice, however, was heavy on 5-on-5 work, with a lot of halfcourt drills and full-court scrimmaging. The intensity was high, simulating game-like conditions. It was clear that the Rebels are gearing up for the start of the season.

“Wednesday is going to be different from the scrimmage from the standpoint that we’re going to try to win the game,” said Rice. “There’s going to be a scoreboard, there are going to be people in the stands, the lights are going to be on, so we’re going to compete and try to win.”

The starting lineup for the UCLA scrimmage saw Anthony Marshall, Justin Hawkins and Katin Reinhardt in the backcourt, with Mike Moser and Anthony Bennett up front. The small lineup was due in part to injuries (center Carlos Lopez sat out due to a bad shoulder) and eligibility (center Khem Birch can’t suit up until mid-December), but Rice wants to use the Dixie State exhibition to sort out the possibilities.

“We’re at the point now where we’re starting to figure out rotations,” said Rice. “We’re giving guys longer minutes and things are starting to take shape in that regard. We still want to play different combinations, but we’re going to lean toward the lineups that give us the best chance to win.”

The exhibition game is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Marshall stands out in UCLA scrimmage

The Rebels were reportedly beaten by double-digits by No. 18 UCLA, but one player who impressed was senior guard Anthony Marshall.

Marshall is taking over as the starting point guard this season, which is a critical position in Rice’s system. Rebels fans have to be relieved by the reviews that Marshall received for directing the offense.

“I felt that there were definitely spurts where we played really well,” said Marshall. “We didn’t put together a full 40 minutes like we wanted to, but there were things that we did effectively and we can build on that going into the season.”

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